ruining the coating on the chicken. “There
is a two minute hand washing break
after every batch is processed,” said
Watcharapon Prasopkiatpoka, managing
director of the plant.
After the product is breaded, it is
conveyed to the cooking room where
it can undergo frying and oven baking.
Temperature readings are taken and the
whole batch is individually quick frozen.
After 30-70 minutes, depending on the
product size, the product is placed into
bags, sealed and sent through a metal
detector. Roughly 700 tons of finished
product can be stored on site, before being
The plant produces 150-200 active SKUs,
but mainly produces three to four products
for its largest foodservice customers.
However, due to the variation in products, the
plant floor configuration is highly flexible and
equipment is on wheels so it can easily be
moved and changed out.
For now, the plant uses a mix of manual
labor and automation because it suits the
type of production.
“In animal protein processing, you buy
a whole animal and have to make
something out of it,” said Kabat. “You can
do it with less labor, but yields are better
with manual labor.”
As part of its growth strategy, CMT
is investing in R&D and is shifting to
become consumer-centric. The company
wants to understand the end-user’s
purchasing habits so it can help its retailer
customers’ product portfolio. “We reach a lot
of different people in a lot of different eating
occasions in a lot of different countries,”
Kabat said. “So we are looking at different
packaging and products that are geared
toward the consumer.”
Located in Thailand’s southeast industrial
development corridor about two hours
from Bangkok is the only Jelly Belly plant
located outside of the U.S. The family-owned
business, whose U.S. plants are located in
California and Illinois, wanted to grow its
“It’s tough in the U.S. to service
customers outside it, and our international
business wasn’t growing,” said Herman
Rowland, Jr., who represents the fifth
generation in the family business, and
currently serves as the managing director
the Thailand plant. His father, Herman
Rowland, Sr., chairman of Jelly Belly’s board,
was searching for an international location
for more than a year.
Thailand was picked because of its
abundance of sugar and access to tapioca
syrup for its development of non-GMO
products. “We wanted access to sugar
and good prices on syrup and labor,” said
Rowland, Jr. “Plus, the labor is wonderful,
it’s a great country, a happy place; the land
Jelly Belly has expanded three times in
its decade-long history in Thailand. Now it’s
Cargill Meats Thailand has a fully integrated and fully controlled supply chain —
from its agricultural operations to the primary processing of its poultry.
Cagrill Meats Thailand produces 125,000 metric tons of fully cooked, ready-to-export product each year.
Cargill Meats Thailand, which has 13 facilities in the country, employs
approximately 17,000 workers.